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Taylor Bean Criminal Trial Underway

Many words have been written about the alleged fact that "nobody goes to jail"  for the giant theft perpetuated on us all. But one guy—Taylor Bean and Whitaker  founder Lee Farkas—is now on trial for fraud in Virginia. According to testimony from just one of the lender's executives who has already pleaded guilty (and--YES!--faces five years in the can), the Florida-based fraud factory should've been dead in 2002, when Fannie Mae dropped it like a bad habit. But Freddie Mac had faith. As we mentioned quite some time ago,  Taylor-Bean's collapse dragged down the then-giant Colonial Bank. Forbes' Walter Pavlo puts an Auburn-vs.-'Bama twist on that, and the Crimson Tide remains very high. Though Taylor Bean was Freddie Mac's "number one lender in affordable housing products,"  in Baltimore's Southeastern neighborhoods it was also the source of easy money for at least one ring of, let's say, remarkably overoptimistic house-flippers. Mostly bankrupt but still un-indicted, they continue to chase the American Dream. One apparently has a home for sale on Guilford Avenue--just $464,000.

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